Retail stores manage holiday shopping season

Published: Dec. 13, 2020 at 7:20 PM CST
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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) - With holiday gift-giving celebrations right around the corner customers make their way to local stores to finish checking items off their gift list and some local retail store owners say this December has been a profitable month.

“Historically December is always you know the most profitable for retailers,” Owner of One Love Candle & Bath Stephanie Franchini said.

In a year filled with uncertainty retail shop owners in the region face challenges, but one thing they always count on is a good holiday season.

“There’s been a lot of foot traffic and just random people having a good time walking around,” Owner of Ground Floor Skateboards Eric Neubauer said.

“It’s been really exciting seeing the community still stepping up and trying to keep our local businesses afloat,” Owner of Rockford Art Deli Jarrod Hennis said.

Many shops closed doors when the pandemic first hit the Stateline, which forced owners to ask questions about the sustainability of their business, something many never thought about before.

“It has challenged us in lots of ways,” Franchini said. “We’ve had to introduce new procedures, we’ve had to adapt, we’ve had to change existing procedures.”

Most stores have changed hours, adding additional times for people to come shop because not as many rush to the store all at once.

“We’ve seen a good amount of people coming in all 7 days since we’ve extended our hours for the holiday shopping,” Owner of Culture Shock Skyler Davis said.

“We have found that people are spreading that shopping out throughout the week and then the preceding weekends and then this weekend as well,” Franchini said.

Owners say the change in shopping trends has not meant a deficit in holiday retail sales.

“Normally the two weeks before Christmas are the hustle mode but we’ve actually seen since before Stroll on State it’s been pretty steady,” Hennis said. “I would say our online sales are up about 400% over last year.”

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